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Sullivan, Tom and Voce, Isabella (2020) The social supply of pharmaceutical opioids. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Statistical Bulletin no. 20.

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URL: https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/sb/sb20


This study explores the prevalence, predictors and nature of the ‘social supply’ of pharmaceutical opioids among police detainees. Social supply refers to non-commercial drug distribution that occurs between family and friends. Analysing data from the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia program’s surveys of police detainees, this study finds that more than half of the respondents who had used pharmaceutical opioids for non-medical purposes had accessed these drugs through social supply methods. Almost all of these individuals had sourced the opioids from family and friends without paying and the remainder had swapped other drugs for them.

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